Today, the Caliban, a British Tier VIII heavy tank, is coming to the closed Supertest. The vehicle is based on a design proposal by the Royal Military College of Science School of Tank Technology. What Wargaming is planning to introduce to the game is a bit different from its historical reference.
*13/08/2021 at 19:15: Image updated with correct information after Wargaming realised there was several errors.
The main feature of the vehicle is its 150 mm gun. It’s standard HE shells cause 950 HP of damage and are capable of penetrating as much as 180 mm of armor. The special AP shell causes 650 HP of damage and has a penetration value of 292 mm. Its gun has an accuracy of 0.6, an aiming time of 7 s, and low shell velocity.
The thickness of the frontal turret armour can reach 250 mm, and the vehicle’s durability is 1,500 HP. It has a top speed of 30 km/h, and a specific power of 23.4 h.p./t.
The Caliban is a vehicle best-suited to close-range combat. Its high damage per shot allows it to trade HP at a high rate, striking fear into its enemies. However, taking full advantage of the vehicle requires certain game skills from the commander.
Caliban began as a design exercise by the Royal Military College of Science School of Tank Technology in the early 1960s to develop a tank able to support mechanised infantry divisions particularly in any forthcoming nuclear conflict on the European front. What was required was a fast tank, with enough armour for protection against similar skirmishing vehicles, able to work alongside infantry, destroy swathes of Soviet infantry and any tactical land targets it chanced upon. It was also to be able to destroy any Soviet MBT it crossed paths with and effectively use area denial as a rear-guard action if the Soviets were reluctant to send forces against it due to its destructive capability. It was therefore decided that the primary weapon had to be something quite special and capable of meeting all the above criteria, and the system chosen, did that and went considerably over the margins of what one could consider overkill.
The weapon was a 160 mm cannon with an automatic loading mechanism primarily firing HESH and HE but able to equip a 160 mm tactical nuclear shell as well. The gun was built into a power-operated oscillating turret and controlled by a joystick system. The rounds were caseless, utilising a bag charge to prevent shell ejection being required, 30 were to be stored split between HESH, HE and Nuclear as required. The gun did not have a muzzle brake but was fitted with a bore evacuator.
The 360 degrees rotating, oscillating turret was of a design similar to the French, but unlike their version featured very heavy frontal armour of 162mm at 55° for 282mm effective with thin sides and back at 25mm. Gun depression was -12° and +20°.
The hull was of a welded design with an all or nothing type of protection, the front plate was 130 mm of steel angled back at 60° and then a secondary curve at 20° for over 260mm effective over the upper frontal arc the lower plate was relatively small in comparison but only 30mm angled back at 40°. The sides, back and rear were quite the opposite with between 25mm to as little as 10mm over most areas, enough to stop small arms and shell splinters only. The driver was situated to the right-hand side and had three episcopes in a new system, should the ones he is using go opaque (as designed) in the event of a nuclear blast they could be rotated around for new vision blocks from inside the vehicle.
Power was supplied by a rear-mounted Meteorite Mk. 202 petrol engine transmitted to the tracks via a two plate Borg and Beck clutch, a Z5 Merritt brown gearbox to the rear sprockets. A separate 4 KW two-speed generator is provided for battery charging. The suspension consists of 10 road wheels with 5-a-side on sprung torsion bars. There are no top rollers with the slack track method resting on the top of the road wheels.